Monday, February 18, 2008
The Flame lily or Gloriosa Superba and Gloriosa Virescens is the national flower of Zimbabwe. It is a brilliant addition to our gardens and comes in a variety of colours - there being over 52 classified varieties.
It muliplies slowly in its natural state and propigation is quite tricky. Now the last of the blooms will have died off and one must know how to look after the plants so that the plants will multiply and ensure blooms in the coming year.
Do not over water the plants! This is the best way to destroy them!
Flame Lilies can be propigated from seed but although this will produce a large number of plants it is a slow process.
Propigation by tuber is the best method as one tuber will produce one stem and two tubers per year.
The plants like partial shade. It will tolerate early morning and late afternoon sun. Filtered sunlight will produce good blooms and string stem structure.
If strong plants are required - water no more than once a week.
Once the plant has died down apply compost and continue to apply water once a week until the leaves and stems turn brown. Transplant between end July and beginning of November. Dig a hole 23 cm deep and place the tuber flat on the bottom of the hole. Add bone meal to the soil from the hole and fill the whole with this (75gr of bone meal should be enough). Level the soil.
Water once a week during the dry period. When a shoot appears as compost and work into the soil and then water once every three or four days until the plant appears to be well established.
Tubers may be left in the ground for up to eight years. Then lift and thin out or re position. New plants tend to come up each year about 30cm from the original planting position.